The staff of The Reader strongly stands in solidarity with NOISE in their efforts to get credentialed for Governor Pete Ricketts’ press briefings. Gov. Ricketts is a public official whose chief concern is answering to the people. Requiring stipulations that allow him to decide who is and is not a “bona fide journalist” is harmful to the mission of journalism and the foundation of the First Amendment, and shameful as his own family prepares to launch their own, brand new, unproven news outlet.
NEW: Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has created a credential application for journalists covering his media events.
The gov’s office will analyze if the applicant is a “bona fide journalist” or if they “maintain journalistic integrity.”
Check it out for yourself 👇🏼👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/qOqmU76vBF
— Kent Luetzen (@KentLuetzen) April 16, 2021
We shouldn’t have to hold up the integrity of NOISE as a news gathering organization, we helped launch NOISE, but suffice to say they have continuously demonstrated a professional and important role in our local media landscape. They give underrepresented communities a voice, and cover topics in ways that many other outlets don’t.
NOISE is absolutely, 100% a journalistic outlet and if the governor wants to deny them press credentials, he should bear the burden of proof, not them. We also stand with the various media outlets that have denounced Ricketts’ decision.
Moreover, we are concerned about what kind of precedent this sets for covering important topics that involve the governor and our state’s executive branch. When traditional lines of inquiry and open records requests don’t receive clear and comprehensive answers, asking questions at regular press briefings becomes the only option. When the governor’s office gatekeeps that, everyone in Nebraska should take notice and be worried.